News & Analysis as of

Work-For-Hire

Help! Someone Copied My Stuff!

At some point in this digital age, almost every individual or business in the creative space will discover that somebody has copied them. You may see it yourself, or you may get the stomach-dropping “Doesn’t this look an...more

Intellectual Property Law - October 2016

Federal Circuit After Stryker/Halo - Why it matters: On June 13, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the consolidated cases of Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc. and Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and, as...more

Make sure you get what you pay for with Independent Contractors: Pitfalls of a “Work Made for Hire” Agreement

by Bryan Cave on

As the owner or manager of a newly minted business, you are likely inclined to engage independent contractors to design your web site, create your marketing materials and perhaps even provide services to your clients....more

Iron Man Composer Battles Tech Giant Sony and Ghostface Killah

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of the composer of the 1960s Iron Man theme song, finding material facts in dispute as to whether the song was commissioned as a work for hire. Jack Urbont v. Sony...more

Paying for software development? Make sure you own it!

by Butler Snow LLP on

In a digital society dominated by the saying, “there’s an app for that,” copyright protection is essential. Paying to have a work created does not automatically vest ownership of the copyright in the paying party. When making...more

Second Circuit Revives Copyright Claims Against Sony and Ghostface Killah

In Urbont v. Sony Music Entertainment Inc., 15-1778, the Second Circuit recently revived claims against Sony and Ghostface Killah, holding that although third parties may raise a work for hire defense, here there were factual...more

Technology companies: Are your employment policies due for a reboot?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

At any particular time, a technology company may devote all of its time and attention to an urgent development project, an investor pitch or closing a round of financing. Those activities certainly make for good press and...more

Protecting Your Rights to Work Product

Any work product created by company employees belongs to the employer. However, business owners are surprised to learn that intellectual property rights to work product created by independent contractors hired to develop...more

Monkeying with Copyrights: Who Owns the Monkey Selfies? A Lesson in Copyright Ownership

by Jaburg Wilk on

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a crested macaque monkey, who famously snapped a smiling selfie of himself using wildlife photographer David...more

Common IP pitfalls every business can avoid

by McAfee & Taft on

As a business owner or manager, you have probably experienced or at least heard about costly and disruptive intellectual property infringement lawsuits. You may also be very concerned about protecting your company’s customer...more

Copyright Strategies for Start-Up Companies

As a leader of a start-up company, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your company’s innovative products, services and technologies through patent filings. If you are savvy, you are also aware of the...more

7 Essential IP Law Considerations for Startup Entrepreneurs

by JD Supra Perspectives on

Ask any startup veteran: intellectual property can make or break a successful exit. Here are seven things every startup should know about intellectual property law....more

Second Circuit Rules That Movie Directors Generally Don’t Have A Copyright Interest In Their Individual Contributions To A Movie

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

The Second Circuit was recently asked to decide whether a contributor to a creative work, whose contributions are inseparable from and integrated into the work, can maintain a copyright interest in his or her contributions. ...more

M&A: How to Maximize Your Return When Selling Your Business

by McCarter & English, LLP on

As a family or private business owner, you know how to sell your product or service. But do you know how to sell the company itself? Selling a business that has been built over the years is emotional and stressful, and for...more

No Copyright in Individual Contributions to a Film - 16 Casa Duse, LLC v. Merkin

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Citing the U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Garcia v. Google (IP Update, Vol. 18, No. 6), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling that...more

Copyright Protection: Differences Between U.S. and Canadian Law

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

Copyright law protects creative works such as books, paintings, sculptures, songs, and movies. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals often own a wide variety of copyrights. Sometimes a copyright owner will not...more

Why the Battle over Artists’ Termination Rights in Sound Recording Copyright Transfers Hasn’t Happened (and Probably Won’t)

by Butler Snow LLP on

January 1, 2013 was a date long-feared by the recording industry. It marked the 35-year anniversary of the effective date of the Copyright Act of 1976, which grants authors of works an absolute right to terminate a transfer...more

Protect Your Stuff

by GableGotwals on

From Day One, a start-up company needs to protect its technology and its branding, and to budget for that protection. Some suggested steps follow, many of which require little or no direct, out-of-pocket expense....more

Copyright Protection for User Generated Content in Virtual World Confirmed

While a legal battle will continue between a Second Life content "consultant" and a school teacher using the online virtual-world creating program as an educational tool, the Southern District of New York made one thing clear...more

Voluntary Work Held to be Work for Hire in World of Warcraft Suit

In Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. 4:12-cv-01096-CW (N.D. Cal. Oct. 17, 2013), an employee of Blizzard brought suit against the company for copyright infringement, alleging ownership of voiceover work used in the...more

IP Update, Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2013

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Patents/Preliminary Injunction: Preliminary Injunction Ordered Based on Appellate Claim Construction Aria Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. - Addressing a preliminary injunction filed by a defendant in a...more

Marvel Prevails in Copyright Termination Case: Famous artist Jack Kirby found to have created his comic drawings as a “work made...

In what can fairly be interpreted as a favorable decision for any business whose success depends upon copyrighted intellectual property, on August 8, 2013, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Marvel...more

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